Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans on Wednesday unveiled the route for the Olympic torch relay, which will start at the Los Angeles Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympics.
The torch will arrive in Los Angeles from Greece on April 27 and be lighted at the Coliseum, "where it last touched American soil," said David Emanuel of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.
More than 225 Southern Californians will then carry the flame through the multicultural landscape of Los Angeles County, which will include Koreatown, Chinatown and Griffith Park.
After passing through Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles, the runners will pause for a ceremony at the Santa Monica Pier.
The flame will then be carried through communities including Venice, Marina del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance and Long Beach before it pauses in Huntington Beach for the night.
A variety of community gatherings will be held during the day to cheer on the torchbearers and celebrate the kickoff of the Centennial Olympics. They will include performances by mariachi bands on Olive Street and at 1st Street and Boyle Avenue, and by Japanese drummers in Little Tokyo.
On the second day of the relay, the flame will move through Orange and San Diego counties. From there it goes to Arizona and Nevada before looping back to the West Coast.
The 15,000-mile relay will traverse the nation's back roads and major thoroughfares, proceeding through deserts and over mountains. Emanuel said the route cuts through such a wide cross-section of the country that the event will be within a two-hour drive of 90% of Americans. The torch, to be carried by about 10,000 runners, will arrive July 19 in Atlanta for the opening ceremony.
"Our friends in Atlanta will soon learn what it means to host the Olympic Games," Riordan said. "It's an event of a lifetime. They will feel the glory and elation we felt in 1984."
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Olympic Torch Route
After it arrives in Los Angeles from Greece on April 27, runners will carry the Olympic torch through Koreatown, downtown and Chinatown, then west into Santa Monica and through the South Bay on its way to the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Source: Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games